Fedora Project Releases New Desktop Tools

The Fedora Project, a community-supported open source collaboration sponsored by Red Hat, has released Fedora Core 6, the latest version of its Linux-based operating system.

Fedora Core 6 provides a performance increase during the start-up of applications such as OpenOffice.org and, in addition to its previous support for x86, x86-64 and Power PC chip architectures, features support for Intel-based Macs.

The main improvement in the system’s installer is functionality that allows access to third-party RPM (Red Hat Package Manager) repositories, such as Fedora Extras or a local repository, at install time. This feature makes Fedora more customizable.

“The Fedora Project enables many nontechnical contributors and developers alike to have a hand in collaborating on the next wave of important technologies in open source,” said technology consultant Robert Jensen. “Fedora Core 6 comes from the many interesting formal and informal projects that people like me are a part of.”

The Fedora 6 Desktop

Fedora Core 6 continues to advance the desktop with improved font and artwork, as well as the usability improvements that come from the latest upstream releases of GNOME and KDE, noted the Fedora Project. Improvements to the desktop in Fedora Core 6 include a new platform that enables GL-accelerated effects on a standard desktop, better and faster software updating tools, and the latest upstream versions of favorite open source applications.

The newly rewritten printer configuration tool has been extended with many new features, the organization noted. Devices are now detected on demand, and support for per-user queues is available, enabling users to customize their printer settings without having to modify system-wide configurations.

Performance Enhancements

Performance improvements in Fedora Core 6 build upon established, underlying systems, said the Fedora Project. For example, the start-up boost that applications such as OpenOffice.org receive is gained from rebuilding with DT-GNU-HASH. This hash is optimized for speed and data cache access.

New GUI (graphical user interface) management tools in Fedora 6 include a virtualization manager, an SELinux troubleshooting tool and an improved LVM (logical volume management) cluster tool.

Smart card services are also provided through the package’s new CoolKey technology.

Support for IPv6 and a single 2.6.18-based Linux kernel that automatically detects and configures for the number of processors on a machine round out the feature set of the new Fedora Core release.

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